Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:

I am a dairy farmer and I read something somewhere—perhaps by an Amish author—about feeding coal dust to cows to raise the percentage of butterfat. Do you know anything about it?

Ed Mast
Pennsylvania

 

DEAR ED:

We ran you question by Hue Karreman, one of the wisest vets around with training in organic, conventional and Biodynamic health for dairy. He works extensively with Amish farmers.

Here’s what Hue had to say:

“I haven't heard of this before. The charcoal makes sense simply to clear out toxins in the gut. Maybe coal dust does this as well and hence the increased butterfat? I'm not too familiar with coal dust in general, as I'm not from the coal mining region of Pennsylvania. If I'm not mistaken, though, aren't there some heavy metal issues with it?”

Hue
www.penndutchcowcare.org

We also suggest the Odairy listserve as a great place to go to share stories with and ask questions of other milk producers and skilled veterinarians who practice natural medicine consistent with NOP standards. Even if you aren’t organic, there’s a wealth of knowledge here.

How about it New Farm readers, any information about coal dust to pass along to Ed? Email info@newfarm.org and we’ll see that he gets it.

NF

 

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